Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Beautiful Paw Paw

On a recent plant walk at the Babcock/Webb WMA (Punta Gorda, Florida) with the Florida Native Plant of the group and fellow nature blogger, Thomas Zinneman, showed us a photo of a very rare and endangered wild flower which he found in our subdivision (we are neighbors).  It was a Beautiful Paw Paw (Deeringothamnus pulchellus).  We had never seen one but were quite interested....and wife Olivia recalled seeing something similar on a recent walk in our neighborhood.  Sure was not only one Beautiful Paw Paw....but a cluster of five!  Remarkable.

Plan to get your feet wet when you explore with the Florida Native Plant Society!  Here is a link to Thomas Zinnerman's fantastic blog.

This plant is critically endangered and rarely seen.  It has lost much of it's habitat to it was a surprise to find it in our subdivision.  The PDF below has lots of info about the recovery plan which included reintroducing the Beautiful Paw Paw onto Pine Island some 20+ years ago.  I believe these recent finds are the only reported north of the Peace River.

Interested to see this rare plant?  They are on Quito Dr, in Section 20 of the Deep Creek subdivision.  Below is a map and GPS coordinates.

Lat  27 1/' 11.8" N
Lon  82 1/' 25.2" W

We thought to "rescue" this plant....but our research told us that is has an extensive root system, needs very special soil conditions, and also needs fire or mowing to avoid competition from taller plants.  This cluster is on a vacant lot which gets mowed four times a we will just watch the plant cluster.

Thanks to Thomas for sharing his find...and to wife, Olivia who has a sharp eye for wild flowers.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Everglades Water-Willow

 Everglades Water-Willow (Justica angusta).  Observed in two locations at the Babcock/Webb WMA in Punta Gorda, Florida.

 Beautiful little perennial wild flower which grows near fresh water and, as above, in standing water.

New wildflower to me...I got some ID help from Facebookers, Chris Evans, Linda Cooper and Carol Joan Gowing.  Thanks folks!
Above is my "go-to" reference for SW Florida wildflowers.

 Great name...Justica for Scottish botanist, James Justice...and angusta from the Latin, meaning "narrow" referring to the leaf shape.

 Solitary blossom on a rather long stem....pale purple here, but looked more blue at second location. 

 Appears to be a popular nectaring plant for small with a Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor).

 Here with a Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis).

Kaufman guides are great for "birds and bugs!"

Always something new to see at "The Webb"....can't wait to get back!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Rural Vietnam: village walkabout NE of Hue City

Rural SE Asia hasn't changed much since my first visit with the 1st Marine Division in the 60's.....houses grouped in small hamlets surrounded by rice paddies.  Now there is electricity and more vehicles, but as always rice is the dominant feature outside Vietnam's bustling cities.
While working with a medical team from Vets With a Mission is a small hamlet I took my camera on a walkabout lunch break.

Central Vietnam grows lots of rice along the lowland habitat along it's east coast.  Quang Thai is located about an hour NW of Hue City.

Rice rules all over SE's the diet staple and the dominant food crop.

Interested to know more?

Not exactly a "nature" post....but agriculture is really part of nature.....albeit altered to suit man.

Local clinic...out team treated over 100 patients each day.

Dr Mike...our medical director.

Dr Oscar briefs Vietnam Vet Ron about where this patient goes next.

Sugar cane.


Still more water buffalo than tractors.  Not being plowing time...the gang is having a pool party!

Too much chemicals is use everywhere in SE Asia.

They were organic farmers for centuries....not anymore.

VWAM van drivers relax during lunch.  Can't get away from those stupid phones no matter where you go!

Rau moung....quintessential vegetable of rural Vietnam.

Looks like a Red Jungle Fowl (Gallus gallus) the wild progenitor of domestic chickens.

Lunch break is over!  Time to grab my kit and get back to triage!